Film / Walk on Water

Walk on Water (ללכת על המים, Lalekhet Al HaMayim) is a 2004 Israeli film. It is directed by New York-born Israeli director Eytan Fox and stars Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, and Caroline Peters. The screenplay was written by Gal Uchovsky. Most of the dialogue takes place in English, although there is much in Hebrew and German.

Eyal is a Mossad hitman who targets enemies of Israel. His wife has recently committed suicide, and his chief Menachem decides that he needs to take on a less challenging assignment: to find Alfred Himmelman, an aging Nazi war criminal, and get him "before God does". In order to track down the old man, Eyal poses as a tour guide and befriends Himmelman's adult grandchildren, Axel and Pia.

Trope on Water:

  • Arab-Israeli Conflict: Takes place during the height of the Second Intifada in Israel, when suicide bombings were an almost daily occurrence.
  • Argentina Is Naziland: Himmelman took refuge in Argentina after the war.
  • Babies Ever After: Eyal and Pia are shown to be happily married with a child two years after the events of the film.
  • Badass Israeli: Eyal is a realistic version of the trope.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Before her fight with their parents, Pia was clearly the responsible one to Axel's foolish, at least in their parents eyes. After Pia fights with her parents, finds herself an Israeli boyfriend and goes to live in a Kibbutz in Israel - she is demoted.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Axel's father wants his son to join the Family Business, but Axel is happier working as an educator, and it doesn't help that his father has been unaccepting of his son's sexuality.
  • Gay Bar Reveal: While it isn't likely that Eyal would have stuck around in any dance bar, when he realizes that he is in a gay bar he seems downright startled and pretty muhc runs away. And that's a man who can kill with his bare hands.
  • Gay Aesop: Not the actual work, but more in-universe, showing the process that Eyal goes through learning to accept homosexuls.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Seeing Axel in a suit has this effect on Eyal. Earlier in the film he reacts this way to Pia dressing up, as well.
  • Nazi Hunter: Eyal is initially reluctant and prefers to let the old nazi die but Menachem insists on punishing him before God does.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Eyal can kill a man in a matter of seconds with his syringe.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Eyal's inability to cry which mysteriously goes away when he can't kill an old man.
  • Save the Villain: Eyal eventually finds himself unable to kill Alfred Himmelman. However, Axel shows up and turns off his grandfather's oxygen tank.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Axel and Eyal, respectively. The contrast is portrayed as a cultural difference, in particular during the scene at the Dead Sea.
    Axel: "Is it true Israeli men don't like to talk about their feelings?"
  • Switch to English: Pia speaks some Hebrew, but her brother doesn't speak a word of it, and despite the fact that Eyal speaks perfect German, he hides this in order to spy on the Himmelmans and so for most of the film, the trio switch to English to communicate.
  • Title Drop: When Eyal and Axel arrive at the Sea of Galilea, Axel tries to walk on a partially immersed deadwood branch. He trips in the water.
    Eyal: Hey Jesus, they lied to you! It's impossible to walk on water!
  • Twofer Token Minority: Two ethnic minority LGBTQ persons appear in the film - first Rafik, a gay Palestinian who hooks up with Axel at a bar, and later a black drag queen in Berlin.
  • Unable to Cry: Eyal, due to medical reasons. He has to apply eye drops regularly.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Axel spends much of the film as the idealist to Eyal's cynic, but exposure to the harsh realities of life in conflict-ridden Israel does have an effect on him, and the knowledge of his family's Dark Secret and the presence of his grandfather in his house drive him to kill the old man.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The movies features two gay bars - one in Tel Aviv and one in Berlin.